Since Ursula Andress’ Honey Ryder emerged from the Caribbean ocean in Dr. No, the Bond girls have been a staple of the franchise, whether they be ally or enemy.
Originally, the Bond girls were to act as a prize or rescue bait for Bond. Though not without their own unique charms and characteristics, they were never expected to break free from their stereotypical bonds (no pun intended).
Over the years, however, these female companions have become progressively more active in the series, excelling at holding their own in a fight and acting as valuable allies.
Covering over 60 years of the franchise’s history, the contribution of the Bond Girls can not be understated, and their services in combat prove this.
So grab yourself a vodka Martini (shaken not stirred) as we count down the Top 5 Bond Girl Fights! (in descending order)
5. Bambi and Thumper vs. James Bond – Diamonds Are Forever
Whilst not the most popular entry in Sean Connery’s time as the British secret agent, “Diamonds Are Forever” carries the distinct honour of introducing the first ever African- American Bond Girl into the franchise in the form of Thumper, played by Trina Parks.
Alongside her partner, Bambi, played by Lola Larson, these flexible femme fatales make quite the introduction at Bond’s hotel, seductively luring their way to 007 before going in for the kill.
With their enticing acrobatics and impeccable coordination, this seductive duo man handle Bond with flying kicks and leg chokes without giving him the chance to get back to his feet. With a helpless British agent in their grasp, Bambi and Thumper are essentially toying with their prey.
Bambi and Thumper’s biggest mistake however was throwing 007 into the pool then joining him. The fight ends rather anticlimactically as Bond simply overpowers them by plunging their heads into the pool, buying himself enough time before Felix Leiter arrives.
4. Nara and Cha vs. Karate students – The Man with the Golden Gun
In Roger Moore’s second outing as 007, Bond is on the hunt for Francisco Scaramanga, the man with the golden gun, until he ends up captured and forced to participate in a fight to the death in Hai Fat’s Karate school, before eventually escaping.
As Lieutenant Hip arrives on the scene to Bond’s aid, he is accompanied by his nieces, Nara and Cha, played by Qiu Yuen and Joie Vejjajiva.
Always the gentleman, Bond instructs the girls to stay back as he prepares to face the remaining students whilst clearly outnumbered. Yet with fearless determination, the sisters charge straight into battle, and one by one these stoic school girls swiftly pulverise the students with an elegant display of Karate, putting the boys’ training to shame.
With all but one of the Karate students incapacitated, the sisters deliver a merciless beating almost beyond the point of reason.
Even when the girls bring the barely conscious boy to Bond, he figures it isn’t worth the trouble and nonchalantly pushes him backwards to the floor.
Although some may feel that neither Nara or Cha technically fall into the category of what is generally deemed a traditional Bond girl, their bravery, skills and loyalty have earned them a place on this list.
3. Frost vs. Jinx – Die Another Day
In one of the most divisive instalments in the franchise, the finale of “Die Another Day” gives Bond fans a taste of feminine prowess from two of Hollywood’s most esteemed actresses, Halle Berry as NSA agent, Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson and Rosamund Pyke as the traitorous Miranda Frost.
As Jinx takes control of the An-124 cargo plane, the former MI6 intelligence operative, Frost, has her sword at Jinx’s throat. When the plane ends up in turbulence, Jinx is able to free herself in the carnage.
Even as the plane is being torn apart, Jinx and Frost stand their ground and battle within the blazing aircraft.
The cold steel of their blades collides as the NSA agent uses everything she can grab to defend herself against the longsword of the Olympic Gold medallist.
From throwing knives to duel wielding katanas, Jinx throws everything she has, but Frost is too sharp for her tricks, leaving her chances at absolute zero.
Despite all of this, Jinx scores the winning point by blocking Frost’s killing blow, picking up a knife stuck to a copy of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” and thrusting it into her chest.
Adding insult to injury, Jinx’s final stroke is when she kicks the embedded knife, and adds a cheesy one liner to boot (no pun intended… again).
2. Paloma and Nomi vs. Spectre’s Guards – No Time to Die
2021’s “No Time to Die” is to date the most recent instalment of the franchise and the final chapter of Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond.
Craig reunites with co-star Ana de Armas, having previously collaborated with her in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out. As Cuban agent Paloma, the young trainee joins Bond on a mission to infiltrate Spectre’s party to uncover a sinister plot involving bio weapons.
When the party turns to chaos, a shootout ensues with Bond and Paloma fending off Spectre’s guards whilst trying to retrieve a rogue scientist. The new 007, Nomi (Lashana Lynch) joins the fray as she reclaims the scientist.
The shootout from inside the club to the streets of Cuba is well-orchestrated with a good sense of geography and clarity making effective use of the setting.
The action doesn’t overstay its welcome, with Paloma being the highlight of the combative dance. This scene perfectly showcases Ana de Armas’ talents as a potential lead in a future action film, perhaps in the vein of John Wick.
1. Wai Lin vs. Chang’s Soldiers – Tomorrow Never Dies
The triumph of “GoldenEye” provided the platform on which to potentially build a more gripping and spectacular Bond film. Enter “Tomorrow Never Dies”! What better way to do so than to cast Hong Kong action star, Michelle Yeoh as Chinese Ministry of State Security agent, Wai Lin.
After briefly departing from Bond’s company, Lin returns to her hideout in Saigon, only to be ambushed by soldiers sent by the corrupt General Chang to take her out of the equation.
If following the tradition of past Bond films, the bad guys would gang up on the Bond girl, take her captive, and she would have to wait for Bond’s rescue. Instead Lin’s natural instincts kick in, and throwing the rule book out the window, she charges at the intruders head on.
Even when unarmed and outnumbered, Lin’s tenacity outshines the shadows of corruption in the Chinese military. Michelle Yeoh’s flexibility and ferocity brings to the audience a no nonsense, down-to-earth display of combative crafts(wo)manship.
The combat is so believable thanks to the contribution of Jackie Chan’s stunt team, bringing a real taste of Hong Kong action to a mainstream audience. It is this battle and Yeoh’s performance that make Wai Lin a fan favourite.